Wednesday, 3 April 2013 – 13.1 miles
We parked at the car park near Grassholme Reservoir, a short distance from Middleton-in-Teesdale. Today’s walk was a figure of 8, starting in the middle. Another clear bright day, slightly warmer than the previous ones.
We set off south and uphill, soon getting into snow. A fairly pleasant walk over the hills to the next road, but a bit of a slog in the snow.
The next section took us past “Hannah’s Meadow” and High Birk Hatt Farm, where Hannah Hauxwell had lived, in a farm without electricity or running water. I do remember her being a bit of a celebrity when there was a series made about her in the 1970s although I never saw it. The traditional way the farm was run has led to the meadow being designated a site of Special Scientific Interest, crossed by a boardwalk.
We walked across past two more reservoirs to a convenient turnaround spot by a waymarker, then returned to the car walking along minor roads (easier than the snow!). We hopscotched along the road with a farmer in a van putting out feed for the sheep at various points.
Over the hills we came across several curious brick structures, which we thought probably had something to do with mining, but we couldn’t work out what they were. (Found out later they are mining ventilation shafts)
Stopped at the car to put on suncream, which we had forgotten earlier. I have caught the sun a bit, and after we went home, I was asked if I had been somewhere exotic over the Easter break …
We then followed the Pennine Way over the hills towards Middleton-in-Teesdale, passing a farmhouse with an impressive tracked vehicle outside, and a footpath filled by a snowdrift.
Just past here, I climbed over a gate that was blocked on one side by drifted snow, and promptly sank thigh deep when one foot touched the other side. I had to get Robby to push my other foot over the gate!
At Middleton, we took a footpath over the hills, heading for the road. We came across what looked like an army exercise, seeing first a Range Rover with aerials sprouting from it, then several men in camouflage with large packs.
We returned to the car by road. It felt quite a long way, but again, easier than going over the snowy hills.